Getting admitted into college ushers in a new, drastically different, exciting, albeit challenging phase in a student’s life. College-goers find themselves in a completely new atmosphere — relishing the increased freedom but anxious about the challenges waiting ahead. The exhilarating years spent in college shape their future — preparing them for life after college. One of the most important lessons learnt in college is fending for oneself. College students have to learn to manage money, whether they like it or not.
College students have to step out of their comfort zones regularly and deal with problems commonly associated with adulthood. From learning how to fix their meals and doing their laundry to saving pocket money and managing their finances — college students have to do it all. While college-goers will scoff at the idea of budgeting, being able to manage money is a necessity for college students. To help our budding engineers, chartered accountants, and doctors ace their finances as college students, we have prepared a comprehensive guide on how to manage and save money.
How Can College Students Manage Money
Tip 1: Prepare a budget
A college student must have a budget to ensure that they do not spend more than their pocket money allows. Carefully allocate your funds towards eating out, going to the movies, getting supplies and hanging out with friends. It will ensure that you have reasonable financial limits without compromising on anything.
Tip 2: Track your spending
After budgeting, it is necessary to track where you spend money. Developing this habit helps you stick to your budget and comes in handy when you get a job. Besides this, it will encourage you to think twice before spending money — ensuring you become a prudent financial decision-maker.
Tip 3: Buy used books or get a library membership
As a college student, a big part of your expenditure is buying textbooks. To minimise spending on books, we recommend that you buy used ones or get a library membership.
Tip 4: Be best friends with your College ID
Many companies and online shopping platforms offer discounts to college students when purchasing from them. All you need to avail these student discounts is your College ID that proves your identity as a college-goer. Some companies that give student discounts are — Apple, Samsung, Nike, Puma, Google, and Spotify.
Tip 5: Reduce unnecessary expenditure
Let us face it, all of us have subscribed to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Spotify and YouTube Premium. While these subscriptions are worth the money at home, a college student rarely has the time to utilise all of these services to their full potential. It is, thus, a wise decision to discontinue these subscriptions and save that extra cash. Besides this, students should also limit non-essential expenditures like eating out, watching movies and impulse shopping.
Tip 6: Start investing wisely
Your college years are the foundation of how you live life later on. Therefore, it is vital that you start saving and investing your money wisely from a young age. Starting your investing journey in college will help you grow your money when you’re cash-strapped. It will broaden your perspective while also providing much-needed experience to enable you to make informed investments.
Tip 7: Use a prepaid mobile plan
A necessary but often overlooked part of the expenditure is your mobile phone bill. As a student on a budget, porting your mobile number from a postpaid to a prepaid plan goes a long way in saving money. Prepaid plans are cheaper and better suited to a college-goer’s needs — making this switch a no-brainer.
Tip 8: Public transport is the way to go
As a college student, you may not have a vehicle of your own. So instead of commuting every day using expensive cab services, we recommend that you start using public transport. Travelling on the metro or on a bus is not only fun, but it is also cheaper compared to an Uber. Aside from saving money, you will also be playing your part in reducing humanity’s carbon footprint.
Tip 9: Learn to bargain
Bargaining is a great skill to have as a teenager. It is even more significant in college. Bargaining will ensure that you get the right stuff at the right price.
Tip 10: Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships
Colleges and universities offer various scholarship programs to students based on different criteria. Whether you are an academic genius or a sportsperson, chances are your college will have a scholarship for that. Work hard and get yourself a scholarship for the extra bragging rights!
Tip 11: Make technology your ally
Technology brings more and more innovation to the way we handle our money. So, make sure that you use it to your advantage. Automate your savings, easily manage and track your expenses, and learn from analytics — technology will help you do it all. Applications on your mobile will be the biggest ally in your quest to save and manage money.
Must-Have Apps For College Students To Manage Money
As a college student, you will be looking for ways to save, manage and grow your money. You will also use your mobile phone to relax and play games occasionally. What if you could accomplish both of these tasks using just one app? Fello is India’s first game-based saving platform. Here users invest in digital gold and earn Fello Tokens for every rupee they save. Using these tokens, users can play games; and win exciting rewards and vouchers every week. If you are a college student who loves to play games and are looking to invest in digital gold and watch their money grow, Fello is just the right app for you.
Available on both Android and iOS, Spenny will definitely help you grow your money. The app rounds off your day-to-day expenses to the nearest ten. Then it invests the change money in a diversified portfolio on your behalf. The app is easy to use, intuitive and helps you keep track of your expenses, investments and financial objectives. Backed by SEBI, BSE, and the RBI, a student who wants to see their money grow, can never go wrong with Spenny.
Another banking application built with teenagers in mind, Fyp offers a prepaid card for teenagers and their parents to manage transactions. Using Fyp, teenagers can learn the importance of budgeting and saving, enabling them to make wiser, more informed financial decisions. Besides being secure, with no hidden charges, Fyp also offers exciting rewards and cashback for every successful transaction.
College students live in groups and spend in groups. Splitwise is the perfect solution for managing group expenses. It gives you the liberty to split bills exactly how you want to. It is simple, easy to use, and a must-have application on any college-goer’s mobile phone.
Wallet by BudgetBakers
Tracking incomes and expenditures are tough if you do not know what you are doing. With Wallet by BudgetBakers, expense tracking is a breeze. The application lets you record all incomes and expenditures while giving easy-to-understand analytics in the form of charts and graphs. As a college student, income and expense tracking should be your priority. With this app, you will never do it wrong.